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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

140                                LIFE   OF
in. the critical moment, when France and Prussia had
been momentarily disturbed in their friendly relations,
as the most fitting mediator between two nations who
were both proud of him. Therefore., King Frederick
William III. sent Humboldt to Paris, in September,
1830, with the diplomatic mission to acknowledge
King Louis Philippe, and the new dynasty; and iu
February,, 1831, he was again sent thither oil a diplo-
matic mission, while his brother William was also at
this time summoned from his private position, and by
the decoration of the order of the Black Eagle, and
admission, into the Council of State, received—as
Alexander said a few days before his departure for
Paris (on the 26th of September, 1830)—a kind of
compensation for the former slights of the Chancellor
Hardenberg. It is very probable that Alexander von.
Humboldt availed himself of his confidential position
with the king, to speak of his brother William to him,
and to bring about this restitution.
Henceforward the brothers lived quite for each
other, and their social, as well as their intellectual
joys, flowed from the common fount of love. The
exchange of their ideas was now a personal, direct
one, and the former long separations were compen-
sated by the most intimate interchange of knowledge
and of feelings. We quote what the biographer of
William von Humboldt (G. Schlesier) says on this
subject: " William now had his brother Alexander
constantly with him; and how much had they not to
speak who had been so long separated, and who, for
reasons which may be easily imagined, could not even
express their affection in writing. The letters they
interchanged were rare and barren, like a landscape
without water or vegetation; for, as is generally the
case, they did not even communicate to each other
what they might unhesitatingly have written. What
must have been William's joy at the return of Ms
brother, and when he saw him, the younger and
stronger one, advance gloriously on his career. We
know how their studies had always been in common.